View Full Version : How long since you tested nitrate?

09/19/2015, 03:46 PM
It's real good about creeping up on you---especially on reefs, where it matters most.

What's a good reading?
For a FOWLR, try to stay under 25. Many fish will survive 4x that, but it's kind of like working in a pre-regulations mine---you'll survive it, yes, but it can't be good for you. Especially when you think that the ocean nitrate level is around 0.

For a reef---definitely under 20. under 2 is better.

Make it as low as you can. Water changes, absorption media, cleanliness.

09/19/2015, 04:14 PM
Mine has been steady at 2.5. Water changes don't seem to have any appreciable effect on mine. 15% water changes every 10 days didn't seem to change it. Very low dose vinegar dosing got it where it is now and has for about the last year.

09/19/2015, 04:38 PM
I have tested mind every sunday for the last 7 years......I really like to watch numbers...lol

09/19/2015, 04:52 PM
I never test it. My fish load is very small, but many corals and a clam. I have stayed with the same feeding and wc schedule for a long time. I do make sure the skimmer is cleaned every week.

09/19/2015, 05:22 PM
A few months. If I don't see any problems with my corals, anemones fish etc I don't test anything accept sg every week or so, and always before and after a wc.

I just upgraded my 20L to a 40b 6 weeks ago and have not done a wc yet. I have no algae in my tank (it's all in the sump) water is crystal clear and I have full extension and growth on all of my corals both LPS and leathers, simply put my tank looks Amazing. I'll plan on cleaning the glass tomorrow and get some fts and post it back here. I've been playing with my camera settings and getting better at taking pictures with it.

I do plan on doing a 10% wc next weekend just because. I'm in that zone of if it's not broken don't fix it LOL.

09/19/2015, 05:46 PM
I actually don't check any water parameters nor do I own any test kits.

The only device I actually have is a refractometer. Then again I don't think my corals really care much about water quality so that probably helps. Kenya tree, Xenia, green button polyps, brown polyps, small leather, finger coral, few hammers, and 3 rather large rose bubble tip anems. Maybe a few red mushrooms in there or 2 red ones and a green.

I try my best to just focus on what I see and fish. Usually I can tell if something is up if they are not growing or doing well. For the most part everything is doing well so I try and keep my hands out of the tank as much as possible. It seems to do better that way, for me.

09/19/2015, 06:39 PM
Not in 10yrs

09/19/2015, 09:14 PM
randomly every couple months, same as all my testing. I made a resolution to try and change my laziness about testing however.

Red Sea reefer
09/20/2015, 04:36 AM
Mine is zero all the time when ever i tested it I do 10 % water change every 20 days

Ron Reefman
09/20/2015, 07:54 AM
Nitrate? Not in a year or more.

I check cal, alk, salinity (because I'm always pulling out water that goes home with people who buy frags). I test every 3 or 4 weeks, sometimes longer when things have been stable and I haven't messed around in the tanks.

09/20/2015, 09:10 AM
Once you get in a good stable routine and have a feel for your tank, it doesnt need to be checked that often. In a new setup I would test it at least once a month for the first year. During this time the system is settling in, you are adjusting bioload, etc. After you've reached a steady state, it's still good to keep an eye on it. In a tank I used to have, I hadn't read nitrate in years so I stopped testing it... down the road I started having all sorts of problems and nitrates had crept up on me. So I still recommend keeping an eye on it even if it hasn't been an issue in the past. Tanks are a complicated ecosystem and sometimes something changes for some reason...

09/20/2015, 05:04 PM
I test mine monthly but it is always zero zero zero. I have a few pale corals and have been thinking of adding potassium nitrate to raise it to 2 - 5. What do you think? I do have a small amount of algae despite this and running gfo, so I would hate to give myself problems with a nitrate boost. On the fence about it....

09/20/2015, 05:54 PM
Can't even remember. Maybe 15 years ago?

09/20/2015, 06:20 PM
You might be surprised. It is one of those items in which tank inhabitants can manage, but that may be higher than expected, and a source of ghosty problems. Weekly water changes do help.

09/20/2015, 07:52 PM
6 hrs :P

Test at least once a week sometimes more....

09/20/2015, 10:04 PM
Every week, but thinking of going to once a month. Bare bottom tank light fish load and the tank has never showed a nitrate reading.